Local Weather History: Juan, The Stormy & Wettest November & the Movie "Hoosiers"

The very wet, stormy pattern & remnants of "Juan" led to most scenes in the movie looking gray & gloomy. Also, much corn was left in the field during shooting due to the record wet November.

Posted: Nov 12, 2020 4:51 PM
Updated: Nov 18, 2020 10:34 PM

The movie "Hoosiers" was filmed in Montgomery, Boone, Hendricks, Marion, Johnson & Henry counties late October to December 1985.  The largest percentage of the scenes in the movie were filmed in Montgomery County.  When you watch the movie you may note the consistently gray, wet weather of all of the scenes & so much corn left in the fields.  There are farm fields plowed, but this plowing tended to occur just prior to production.  It was the wet, wet Fall that led to the grayness of the weather in the movie & left much corn standing in fields.

Although the gloomy, wet weather added to the cinematography of the movie, it resulted in production delays & overall equipment set-up issues in the water-logged soils at the sites. 

It was also quite cold early with snow falling in latter November & substantial accumulating snowfall falling at the end of November to early December.

November 1985 was the wettest on record in 141 years of record keeping at Greater Lafayette.  In fact, it was the wettest November for the entire viewing area.

October had a soaking rain on the 14th, but it was really what occurred once the Hurricane Juan remnants moved through the area & what followed that made it such an awful part of the Fall of 1985.  From October 29-December 2, measurable precipitation occurred at the Purdue Airport every day but 4!  Precipitation occurred somewhere in the viewing area during that time every day except 2!  Now that is a nasty, damp stretch!

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First, making landfall near Morgan City, Louisiana, Hurricane Juan remnants moved north-northeastward with the center passing right over the viewing area as an extratropical storm system.  It remained as a depression as far north as southwestern Indiana tracking from the Gulf Coast to Indiana in the October 27-November 2 time frame.  The rains from the system fell over our area late on October 31 to early on November 2.

1.46" was measured at the Purdue Airport & 1-2.5" of rainfall fell over the viewing area as a whole.

Up to 17.78" of rain was measured in Louisiana & 15" in southern Mississippi & Alabama.

Historic rainfall occurred November 1-6 east of our area with incredible rainfall amounts of up to 19.80" over a week in west-central Virginia & +10" in western North Carolina.  Catastrophic flooding occurred from northeastern Georgia to Virginia with hundreds of millions in flood damage.  Massive flooding also occurred in Louisiana.

In the November 12-30, 1985 period, up to 13" rain fell from eastern Illinois to our viewing area in the very wet pattern.

This included severe weather, especially on November 19.  The night of November 18 & then afternoon of November 19 featured severe weather from Texas to northern Indiana, including a longer-track F3 tornado in Arkansas & several tornadoes in east-central Illinois.

Here, at Morocco, 3 houses had their roofs torn off on the west side of town while 5 others sustained some form of roof damage.  Numerous trees were uprooted & power poles & lines downed all over town.  Multiple cars were damaged or destroyed when trees fell on them.  Several homes also had trees fall on them.  3 miles southwest of Morocco, 2 large steel grain bins & a barn were leveled. 

Near Kentland, 2 barns were destroyed, as well as 1 building at Demotte.  Numerous trees & powerlines were downed, while more trees were downed back to Benton & Warren counties.  A wind gust of 65 mph downed powerlines at Reynolds, while numerous trees were downed around Battle Ground.  Other trees & power lines were downed in Montgomery, Cass, Clinton, Miami & Howard counties.  Windows were blown out of multiple business in Kokomo.

Prior to the severe storms in the afternoon of November 19 in our area, heavy rainfall on the night of November 18-19 caused flooding.  At the Purdue Airport 2.43" rain fell.  The flooding was especially bad along I-70 with evacuations on the southside of Terre Haute.

November 18 at 7 a.m. to November 19 at 7 a.m.:

November 19 at 7 a.m. to November 20 at 7 a.m.

For the month of November, precipitation totals varied from 5-15" over the viewing area:

14.65" 6 Miles Southeast of Crawfordsville

10.64" Kokomo

10.30" Frankfort

10.20" Covington

10.13" Whitestown

8.71" 6 Miles Northwest of West Lafayette

8.52" Fowler

8.11" Monticello

8.07" Romney

8.03" Rensselaer

7.66" Kentland

7.57" Delphi

7.17" Logansport

5.98" Rochester

5.52" 7 Miles Northwest of Kewanna

5.49" Winamac

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Purdue University Airport: 

Date  Daily High/Daily Low  Precipitation  Snowfall

1985-10-14  68/58  1.01"

1985-10-15  68/49

1985-10-16  63/42

1985-10-17  75/46  

1985-10-18  71/55  0.21"

1985-10-19  72/57  Trace

1985-10-20  61/54  Trace

1985-10-21  67/50  

1985-10-22  62/50  

1985-10-23  69/57  Trace 

1985-10-24  78/52  0.19"

1985-10-25  67/35

1985-10-26  72/38

1985-10-27  69/39

1985-10-28  58/42

1985-10-29  55/42  0.02"

1985-10-30  58/42  Trace

1985-10-31  60/45  0.12"

1985-11-01  65/58  1.28"

1985-11-02  59/45  0.04"

1985-11-03  50/39

1985-11-04  45/41  0.01"

1985-11-05  51/41  Trace

1985-11-06  61/43  0.02"

1985-11-07  51/36  Trace

1985-11-08  57/34  0.01"

1985-11-09  63/47  0.25"

1985-11-10  63/40  0.81"

1985-11-11  44/39  0.06"

1985-11-12  66/44  0.81"

1985-11-13  68/55  0.13"

1985-11-14  64/41  0.16"

1985-11-15  46/40  0.33"

1985-11-16  51/37  0.45"

1985-11-17  59/33

1985-11-18  69/52  1.19"

1985-11-19 70/38  1.04"

1985-11-20  38/24  

1985-11-21  37/19  Trace

1985-11-22 39/28  0.13"

1985-11-23  42/23

1985-11-24  34/21  0.06"  Trace

1985-11-25  51/32  0.38"

1985-11-26  61/38  1.35"

1985-11-27  41/35  0.39"

1985-11-28  37/35  0.04"

1985-11-29  40/36  0.03"

1985-11-30  44/39  Trace

1985-12-01  52/14  0.22"  Trace

1985-12-02  15/9  0.13"  1.4" Snow

1985-12-03  26/6  

1985-12-04  37/26

1985-12-05  34/23  0.26"  3.7" Snow

November 1985:  8.98"

October 15-December 5:  10.13"  5.1" Snow

With so much rain & cloud cover, you can expect the weather scenes in the movie to be dreary. 

(Scenes below courtesy of Hemdale Films, 1986)

Coach Dale driving into New Richmond (a.k.a. Hickory) in the opening scene of the movie in late October of 1985:

Coach Dale in opening scene of the movie at Terhune, Boone County in a rare scene of some dim sun in late October:

Coach Dale driving to "Hickory" in opening scene of the movie shows altocumulus castellanus clouds in the west at sunset.  This was the same evening that the scene from principal Cletus' farm was shot.

Dreary stratus on a chilly day in late October...........Nineveh, Southern Johnson County:

Another gray scene...........Nineveh, Southern Johnson County:

Opening scene to the movie..........Liberty Chapel Church between Wingate & Crawfordsville...........with low overcast & thick haze/light fog.  Note all of the corn still left in the field at the beginning of November.

Another dreary scene from the movie with low overcast & fog:

This beautiful sunset shown at the end shows corn shredded & downed by wind, mostly bare trees, but a strong southerly wind blowing with the low cumulus/stratocumulus blowing rapidly across the sky from the south & southwest.  The floccus & shreds of clouds indicate strong low-level wind fields.  The corn stalks look very wet to damp from recent rainfall.  This was likely shot on November 18 when the high was 69 & heavy rainfall & storms occurred that night.  The severe weather outbreak occurred the next day.

This was an unusual scene of sunshine in the movie, taken on 47 near Sheridan.  Given the fact that the trees were bare & the basketball players here are not in heavy jackets or coats, this was probably shot just prior to the severe weather on November 19.  It may have been shot November 17 or 18.

Cold, gray scene likely after the severe weather outbreak on November 19.  This was shot in Hendricks County & the ground wet & (according to David Anspaugh) icy with very cold wind.  Note the pastures still green from the warmth & rain, however (despite the icy cold) & the corn STILL in the field from harvest delays due to the rain.  Some of it is also apparently knocked down by the wind.

The high for the day actually occurred at midnight with 38 at the Purdue Airport.  By 11:59 p.m. night, the low had reached 24 with temperatures 28-30 all day with that biting wind.  Barbara Hershey's cheeks are very red & it seems hard for her to talk in the cold in this scene.  Gene Hackman puts a thick hat on & thier breath is clearly visible.  The smoke coming out of the chimney of the 1880 Italiate house was blowing northwest to southeast.

From Elizaville, Boone County...................this was shot in late November during the much colder weather.

Avon Threatre in Lebanon.................said to have been shot November 26, 1985.  Note the wet pavement as 1.35" of rainfall occurred at the Purdue Airport that day & 1.16" at Whitestown.

New Richmond, Northwest Montgomery County....................reportedly shot (December 2) actually when most of the other shooting wrapped up (though this scene appeared in the early part of the movie).  

Scene from the movie shot in the first very minor snowfall of Fall-Winter 1985-86.............November 24, 1985. 

This was shot in the minor snowfall of November 24, 1985.

Light snow is falling here with very minor accumulation on the ground somewhere in Boone or Montgomery counties.  The stratus/stratocumulus with dull breaks indicates this was very minor snowfall episode & was November 24, 1985.

West Lafayette
Clear
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Hi: 45° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: °
Kokomo
Clear
22° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 12°
Rensselaer
Clear
19° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 13°
Fowler
Clear
19° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 13°
Williamsport
Clear
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Hi: 44° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: °
Crawfordsville
Clear
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Hi: 44° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 20°
Frankfort
Clear
22° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 14°
Delphi
Clear
21° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 15°
Monticello
Clear
21° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 15°
Logansport
Clear
21° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 12°
Cold night, then drier, milder regime.
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